Few things are more welcome than a hearty bowl of New England clam chowder. The flavor of this quintessential creamy soup with tender chunks of potatoes, salty bits of bacon, sweet corn, and briny clams is delicate and mild.
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the Onion and cut into quarter inch dice, then set aside.
Peel the Carrot and cut into quarter inch dice, then set aside.
Cut Yukon Gold Potato into quarter inch dice, and set aside.
Cut the Corn kernels from the cob, and set aside.
Remove the Fresh Thyme leaves from stems, discard stems, and set leaves aside.
Cut the Bacon into quarter inch pieces, and set aside.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and cook until browned, about four minutes.
Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
Retain bacon fat in the pan for sauteing the veggies.
Strain the Canned Chopped Clams over a medium bowl to contain the clam juice, and set both aside.
To the saucepan with the bacon fat, add Butter over medium heat.
When melted, add the small onion and carrot and saute for five minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add corn and saute for two to three minutes.
Add potatoes and half of the thyme. Stir.
Sprinkle All-Purpose Flour over the mixture. Cook for three minutes, stirring until the flour has been well incorporated.
While stirring, pour the clam juice into the mixture in a steady stream until fully blended and no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for fourteen minutes, until the chowder starts to thicken.
Gently fold in the clams and slowly stir in Milk. Season with Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Simmer for 19 minutes more until potatoes are tender.
While the chowder simmers, slice a circle around the top of each loaf of Sourdough Bread Boule and remove the lid. Using your hands, hollow out the inside of each loaf, making a bowl, leaving the walls about a half inch thick.
Place bowls directly onto the oven rack for the last three minutes the chowder is simmering.
Place the bread bowls in the center of two plates. Fill the bowls with chowder. Garnish with bacon and remaining thyme.